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Old 03-05-2008, 03:27 PM   #1
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Defining EC for people who haven't heard of it.

EC stands for Elimination Communication and it means just that- communicating with your baby about their elimination needs. This is done through observing your baby for sign that they need to go (squirming, grimacing, farting, etc), offering your baby the potty at appropriate times (upon waking, after eating), cueing your baby to go by a sound (psss) and association (the potty), and intuition.

There are some better explanations:

EC, also known as Natural Infant Hygiene or Infant Potty Learning, is the practice of seeking to help your baby, from as young as from birth, to eliminate in a place other than his or her pants. A baby's first potty could be a mixing bowl held between mom's knees, a prefold diaper spread out underneath baby, the bathroom sink, or even a teeny little plastic potty. There is no coercion involved, and even parents who work out of the home can make the practice beneficial for all involved. It is not uncommon for EC'd babies to be out of diapers for weeks at a time (developmental milestones often undermine the process a bit) by the time they are 5 or 6 months old.

Intrigued? Does it sound like a bunch of hooey? Rest assured, it's not! Babies all over the world have begun their trek to potty independence early on for ages. Does it work? Yes, plain and simple. Is it developmentally inappropriate for your baby? Heck no. Regardless of what the American Pediatric Association says, babies younger than 18 months can-- and do-- have control over their sphincters.

FYI, EC is not necessarily about *never* using diapers. most mamas use CD's as back-up for EC, at least some of the time. it's about getting to know your child's cues so that when s/he is about to pee or poop you can offer the potty instead of letting them go in their diaper. you may also start to notice certain times that your baby always goes - like 'x' minutes after they nurse, or right when they wake up, or approximately every 'x' minutes or hours. if you know when your child goes, letting them go in the potty not only allows you to save on diaper laundry, it keeps your child clean and sanitary - no sitting around for a half-hour in a wet or poopy diaper. babies are born knowing when they are about to eliminate, and do not find it comfortable to sit in a soiled diaper. by using diapers full-time and changing on a schedule, you are teaching your child to ignore the discomfort associated with sitting in a wet diaper, and to disassociate the feeling of needing to eliminate with the process of eliminating - making it much harder to then turn around and teach them to relearn what that feels like when it's time to do 'potty training.' most EC'd kids are using the potty regularly/reliably with few or no accidents and without any diapers by the time they're about 12-18 months, and virtually all by the time they're 2. i didn't even start with either of my kids till they were over 6 months of age (DD was 10 months), and they were both still 100% out of diapers before they turned 2. but it's not about potty training, that's just a bonus - it's about teaching your child to communicate about needing to pee and poop from the beginning, instead of teaching them it's OK to soil themselves and then turning around and trying to teach them that it's not.

EC, although it is sometimes called infant potty training, is not really a form of training. It is a process best started from birth or soon after, although it can be successfully started later on with modified methods. It involves observing one's baby's signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use. Infants can communicate the need to eliminate well before they can take themselves independently to the toilet, and EC is the practice of responding to that need whenever possible and assisting the infant to eliminate in an appropriate receptacle until such time that they can go independently. With EC the infant never loses the awareness of their elimination that they have from birth and practices using their muscles early on so they develop continence sooner than non-EC'd babies. EC can be practiced to varying degrees -- part-time, occasional or full-time -- they key is the communication between you and your baby.

You know how a newborn will often pee when you take the diaper off? Well, thats because mammals, including humans, are "programmed" to not soil themselves. We teach children to eliminate in diapers, and tell ourselves that babies have no bladder control. That is actually not true (proven by many an ECed baby). With EC, you watch the babies cues, and allow them the opportunity to eliminate in an appropriate place, away from themselves. I think most babies have a poop face, or a specific place they like to poop. Some parents will just wait, and change a dirty diaper. EC would be taking the child to an appropriate place and allowing them to void there (IE, bath tub, sink, toilet, or potty seat).

Feel free to add your own definition
Allie, tree-huggin' APin' mama to Fiona (taking a break from the computer)
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